the Way Home
March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
It is the Lenten season, a time when reflection on Christ and loss and sorrow and brokenness converge in anticipation of the celebration of the Resurrection.
A good friend, and pastor in San Francisco, Fred Harrell offers this:
“Lent is an old English word that means springtime. It was a way of speaking about a season before Easter, and over the centuries Christians have used this time of year before Easter to say, ‘I need springtime in my soul’.”
It is a good thing to ‘feel’ the lament of a fallen world, of which we are part, because it may be that we most accept our own brokenness, and therefore our need, by seeing ourselves in the context of a larger community that shares our condition.
I know that every instinct within is to avoid such things. We have enough pain in our lives. Why remind ourselves that we are a mess and that we bear scars? But there is something healing in lament in the way that dressing a wound is simultaneously painful and soothing, like in the relief we feel when we finally come clean to someone we love. Solomon says that “Sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the face the heart is made better” (Ecclesiastes 7:3).
Sorrow and lament peel away the shallow layers of self and denial to expose our simple need for God.
In the end, this is really what the Lenten season is all about – because to lose ourselves in sadness would be as incomplete as avoiding its reality. There is something beyond the tears and wounds.
No, the story we find ourselves in is that in Jesus, God has come near to ‘sympathize’ with our condition, ‘a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering’ (Isaiah 53:3), choosing the Cross to be His only way Home. When we celebrate the passion, and align our hearts with the world’s sorrows, embracing our neighbor’s pain as our own, while allowing the gospel to delve into our own brokenness, we enter into Christ’s passion as He did ours. In doing so, we look to the end of suffering as well, because Jesus who died now lives.
Friends, in the Kingdom of God, no sadness is wasted on a Father whose Son has made for us a way Home.
such good news…